Customers want respect, priority, and employees that are interested in them. If they get these things, they will pay you back one thousand times more with loyalty and word of mouth about your impeccable service. Here are the steps that top businesses use to craft a highly lucrative, customer-centric business model.
Define Core Values
In your business plan, come up with a motto expressing your company’s core philosophy. Keep it concise yet powerful; as it should be the foundation your business operates on. Then, create a list of your company’s values, meaningful yet brief enough for every employee to memorize and apply it. The philosophy and values should encompass how customers and employees are treated, along with the work ethic that is expected.
Hire the Best
Diligent, customer-oriented employees won’t always be found easily, but they are out there. Get the word out about job openings through job boards, social media, and employee references. Competitive pay never hurts either—investing in employees means that you can afford to be far more selective.
Invest time in the screening process. Seek people who have remarkable attitudes and who show an interest and have the capacity learn. Ask challenging questions to find out if a candidate thinks outside the box. Watch how the candidate interacts with everyone, from the CEO to the receptionist. Follow up with personal and professional references. Look for cooperation, desire to grow, perseverance, and outstanding interpersonal skills. These traits will bring ecstatic customers; the technical skills can be taught later.
Train to Go the Extra Mile
Most businesses have certain best practices that are expected of all employees when interacting with customers. “Smile, be engaged, make eye contact, and express gratitude for customer’s business,” these are the hallmarks of customer relations. Here’s how you set your company apart: Ingrain those practices, yes, but more importantly, train employees how to tailor service to each customer’s needs—no matter how “crazy” they may seem. Teach how to spot the small ways that employees can go the extra mile. Show them how to use customer feedback to set goals and improve their skills.
Encourage Customer Feedback, and Use it
Speaking of customer feedback, make it easy for customers to give it! Give them options to speak with an actual person, use online chats, or fill out surveys. Show that you value their individual experience, and use the criticism to improve your company. Creating a customer-centric business model is a process, and your company will advance further if giving feedback is a cinch for customers.
Keep Employees Accountable for Upholding Values
Too many businesses define the set of values beautifully and show new hires a video about said values during orientation. The problem is, the only time employees ever hear about them again is during the annual company picnic.
If you want customer service to be an outstanding part of company culture, the values need to show up daily. Hold employees accountable for setting productivity and customer service goals, and for documenting achievements. Use positive reinforcement, and discipline if necessary. Consider determining raises with performance reviews that look at achievements according to your company’s customer service values.
If employees feel respected and valued for their hard work, it will be infinitely easier for them to maintain an positive attitude. Noticing and rewarding exceptional work, along with creating a great working environment, brings employees up to intrinsically go the extra mile for customers. Thank hard work, allow great employees to have more independence, and provide opportunities for growth.